On June 3, 2004, Tottenham announced that France coach Jacques Santini would become their new manager after Euro 2004.

Here we take a look at his appointment and what happened next.

Pioneer of French football

Santini had been France manager between 2002 and 2004 (Nick Potts/PA)
France Head Coach Jacques Santini during training at San Tirso, near porto, Portugal Friday 11 June 2004, prior to their opening Euro 2004 group game with England. EDITORIAL USE ONLY, NO MOBILE PHONE OR PDA USE. INTERNET USE ONLY ON UEFA AUTHORISED SITES

Santini was little known in England, but he had a great reputation in France after helping to turn Lyon into the country’s best team. He took over from Roger Lemerre as manager of the national team in 2002, given the task of rebuilding after the golden generation that won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 had broken up. However, before Euro 2004, where France lost in the quarter-finals to Greece, Santini had already quit his post, with Spurs enticing him to the Premier League

Spurs’ search for success

Santini was the man Spurs chose to take them to the next level (Sean Dempsey/PA)
Tottenham manager Jacques Santini watches his side draw 1-1 with Liverpool during their Barclays Premiership match at White Hart Lane, north London, Saturday August 14, 2004. THIS PICTURE CAN ONLY BE USED WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF AN EDITORIAL FEATURE. NO WEBSITE/INTERNET USE UNLESS SITE IS REGISTERED WITH FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION PREMIER LEAGUE.

Spurs had been in the doldrums for the best part of 15 years as a host of managers had failed to finish higher than seventh in the Premier League. They had big ambitions under Daniel Levy and looked abroad for the man to replace Glenn Hoddle. They tried to get Claudio Ranieri, who instead chose Valencia after his Chelsea sacking, so turned to Santini in a bid to earn a seat at the top table of English football.

155 days of chaos

Martin Jol took over at Spurs after Santini’s hasty departure (Joel Ryan/PA)
Tottenham Hotspur manager Martin Jol speaks to press at the launch of the new club emblem, at White Hart Lane, north London.

Just 155 days later and after only 13 games Spurs’ Santini’s experiment was over. The Frenchman quit on November 6 citing personal reasons, but it was widely understood that disagreements with sporting director Frank Arnesen led to his departure. In his short stay he still managed to create something of a legacy, though, as Spurs’ tactics in a 0-0 draw at Chelsea led Jose Mourinho to coin the now famous phrase “parking the bus” phrase. Santini went on to manage Auxerre but has not worked since 2006, while Spurs appointed Martin Jol as his replacement and their climb up the Premier League began in earnest.


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